Essential Steps to Bail Someone Out of Jail
When your friend or family member gets arrested, it can be not very pleasant. However, knowing what to do and how the process works can make it much less stressful.
Bailing someone out of jail involves posting bail. This is money or property given to the court to guarantee that the defendant will appear at their trial.
Contact the Jail
If a friend or family member is arrested, their first thought is often how to bail someone out of jail West Chester PA. A way to do this is by posting bail, cash or property that a person gives to the court to guarantee their presence at all proceedings, including trial.
The judge or justice will typically set the amount of bail at an arraignment or bond hearing (if the charges are minor). This process can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours.
Those with money can pay directly with the court using cash, money orders, or credit cards. A professional bonding company can also post a bond on behalf of the defendant for a fee. In either case, a co-signer will usually be required to sign the paperwork and agree to be responsible for making sure that the defendant appears in all court appearances. Putting up collateral like their home or car may even be necessary.
Find Out the Charges
If you’re trying to help a friend or family member get out of jail, knowing the charges against them is essential. This information will allow you to decide whether or not bail is appropriate.
After being arrested, they are generally taken to the police station and “booked.” This process involves recording their information, fingerprinting, mug shots, and checking for outstanding warrants. Some defendants can pay a predetermined bail schedule upon booking, depending on the crime. This can usually happen within 48 to 72 hours of arrest.
Defendants considered flight risks or a danger to the public might not be allowed to post bail. Judges decide this at a hearing called an arraignment.
Once the defendant is released from jail, they must stick to the terms of their bond. This means attending all their court dates and reporting to their probation officer on time. Otherwise, the defendant could risk having their bail forfeited and face additional criminal charges.
Post the Bail
If the defendant is charged with a crime and is in jail, the judge will set bail during a court hearing (also called an arraignment). The court considers many things when setting bail, including the nature of the crime, the accused’s criminal history, their family ties, and whether there is reason to believe that the person could be a flight risk.
Bail is money the court accepts to guarantee that the individual will return for future court appearances. Defendants can pay their bail or work with a bail bond company to post their bail. A bail bond agent agrees to pay the full bail amount for the accused in exchange for a nonrefundable fee. If the defendant doesn’t appear in court, the bail bond company will hire a bounty hunter to find them and return them to jail. The bail bond company may then forfeit the sum they paid for the defendant.
Attend the Court Hearing
A suspect will have to attend a court hearing called an arraignment. At the arraignment, a judge or justice will set bail. The defendant may request a lower bail amount from the judge and ask that certain conditions be put on their release, such as wearing an ankle bracelet, not consuming alcohol or drugs, or staying within a specific territorial jurisdiction.
A judge will consider whether or not a defendant is a flight risk. This is usually based on the severity of the crime and a defendant’s track record of attending court appearances.
A judge may require collateral, such as a house or car, to guarantee that the defendant will appear for all court dates. A judge may also require frequent check-ins at the bail bond office. This ensures that the defendant shows up for court and does not run away, which can ruin their chances of getting their money back from the bail bond agent.